Writing Workshops Public Reading set for 7 p.m. Aug. 6

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July 29, 2020

The Literary Arts Institute did a last second rewrite to the inaugural Minnesota Street Summer Creative Writing Workshops.

The 11-week Writing Workshop was intended to be held at the College of Saint Benedict, but was switched to Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, to celebrate the program, the Summer Creative Writing Workshops Public Reading takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6 via YouTube.

The reading will feature nine College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University students – along with the three professional authors who mentored them this summer. 

The students received Manitou Fellowships to participate in the program, which began May 18 and runs through July 31.

Each writer mentored the students for a three-week period. They held two-hour workshops five days a week, and each writer conducted individual sessions with the students.

The Manitou Fellows include:

  • Paige Christenson, a senior English major from Grand Rapids, Minnesota;
  • Amber Cigelske, a senior English major from Avon, Minnesota;
  • Janessa Harms, a senior philosophy major from Maple Grove, Minnesota;
  • Zoe Huot-Link, a senior art major from Maplewood, Minnesota;
  • Noah Knapp, a senior English major from Aberdeen, South Dakota; 
  • Ashley Marek, a junior English major from Faribault, Minnesota;
  • Lindsey Schaffer, a senior English major from Mankato, Minnesota;
  • Nina Vue, a senior gender studies and English double-major from Milwaukee;
  • Katherine Wagner, a senior English major from Milwaukee.

The participating writers include:

  • Kendra Allen is the author of the essay collection “When You Learn the Alphabet,” which earned the 2018 Iowa Prize for Literary Nonfiction.
  • Chelsey Johnson is the author of the novel “Stray City.” She is an associate professor of fiction at Northern Arizona University.
  • Sun Yung Shin is the author of poetry and essay collections, including “Unbearable Splendor,” which won the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry in 2017.

Students will compile a portfolio of their best work completed over the summer, which will be submitted to Matt Harkins, director of the Literary Arts Institute (LAI) and professor of English at CSB and SJU, and Rachel Marston, associate director of the LAI and associate professor of English at CSB and SJU. 

The Fellows each received a $7,500 stipend, which allowed the students to concentrate on their writing without taking on additional summer employment.

All funding for the Minnesota Street Creative Writing Workshops and Manitou Fellowships has been made possible by a generous grant from the Manitou Fund.